Discussion

4.1 Key Findings

1)Cooling System and window under simulation of high temperature and low temperature

This experiment is to test whether the relay and arduino is sending correct instructions to the fans and servo based on the data from the light dependant resistor (LDR) of the rain sensor and the temperature sensor.
When the temperature is at or above 24.71ºC (as seen in arduino output) and that the rain sensor LDR is off, the arduino will send a 'HIGH' signal to the relay, telling it to turn on the fan and rotate the servo such that it closes the window.
When the temperature is at or above 24.71ºC (as seen in arduino output) and that the rain sensor LDR is on, the arduino will send a 'LOW' signal to the relay, telling it to turn off the fan and rotate the servo such that it closes the window.
However, when the temperature is at or below 22.75ºC (as seen in arduino output) and that the rain sensor LDR is off, the arduino will send a 'LOW' signal to the relay, telling it to turn off the fan and rotate the servo such that it opens the window.
When the temperature is at or below 22.75ºC (as seen in arduino output) and that the rain sensor LDR is on, the arduino will send a 'LOW' signal to the relay, telling it to turn off the fan and rotate the servo such that it closes the window.

For this experiment, we used our hands to heat up the temperature sensor using body heat and also pour water to the rain sensor to test if the arduino and relay system is working correctly.
We first heated up the temperature sensor using body heat and check to see if the fans and servos are working correctly. We then pour water to the rain sensor to make sure that the fans and servos react accordingly.
We then allowed the temperature sensor to slowly cool down and checked to see if the fans and servos are working correctly. We finally poured water to the rain sensor to make sure that the fans and servos react accordingly.
The system successfully passed the test.

Our experiment can be applied in real world for convenience and mainly to conserve electricity when the fans are not necessary. Over the long run, this can save a lot of electricity and money of an average household compared to turning on the fans or air conditioner even though when it is cold.

With our results, we could bring this experiment further by having a system that is able to get more efficient cooling system and fully conceal the window and also add more windows.

2)Lighting system under simulation of low light intensity and high light intensity

This experiment is to test whether the relay and arduino is sending correct instructions to the light bulb based on the data from the light dependant resistor (LDR). When the light intensity is above a certain level, the arduino will send a 'LOW' signal to the relay, telling it to turn off the light bulb. When the light intensity is below a certain level, the arduino will send a 'HIGH' signal to the relay, telling it to turn on the bulb as it is dark.

For this experiment, we used our hands to test whether the sensor and the arduino and relay is working properly. We placed our hands around 30cm above the LDR to simulate clouds passing by and the LDR did not trigger the light bulb to turn on. This is an advantage as the lights will not be constantly switching on and off due to the clouds passing by. We then lowered out hands to around 10cm above the LDR to simulate night time. The LDR successfully triggered the light bulb to turn on and that is also an advantage as it means that the LDR is able to trigger the light bulb to turn on or off at appropriate timings.

Our experiment can be applied in real world for convenience and mainly to conserve electricity when the light bulb is not necessary. Over the long run, this can save a lot of electricity and money of an average household.

With our results, we could bring this experiment further by having a system that is able to get a more realistic light intensity and configure it such that the bulb can be dimmed or the brightness can be increased.

3)Solar panel is functional

This experiment is to test whether the solar panel is working and charging correctly. When there is sunlight, the solar panel will slowly charge up the battery while the system is running.

For this experiment, we tested the solar panel under direct sunlight, under normal lighting and under no light to see if the solar panel is charging. We placed the volt meter onto the two ends to see the voltage passing through. The solar panel is able to charge at nearly 20 volts under direct sunlight at noon. During other times, it charges at around 14 volts to 17 volts. However, under normal lighting and no light, the solar panel, as expected, does not charge at all.

Our experiment can be applied in real world for more renewable energy instead of using fossil fuels etc. for electricity.

With our results, we could bring this experiment further by having more solar panels to charge at a faster rate.

4.2 Evaluation of engineering goals

First Goal: Make sure that the solar panel can support all the electrical needs of our house.
The solar panel successfully sustained part of the electrical needs of our house. Since the house is sometimes indoors, we have to charge using a normal charger instead of the solar panel sometimes. During the times when the solar panel is outside and charging, it is able to charge at a rate enough to sustain the electrical components for a long time.

Secondary Goal: To add in other sources of renewable energies to backup the solar power supplies such as water and wind turbine.
We were not able to accomplish this goal as we did not have a bicycle dynamo to power the battery and also the water collection system. Therefore, nothing else was able to backup the solar power supplies using other sources of renewable energies.

4.3 Areas for improvement
1) Be more creative and innovative in our design.

2) Currently, our solar house is visually unattractive and very bulky. So, our design should be more neat and organised.

2) Be more accurate in our dimensions.

4) Improve our crafting skills. For example, our drilling and cutting of materials need to be improved.

5) Collect more data about the rate of charging and the current and voltage flowing through the circuit.

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